ADDIS ABABA: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and compared its actions to Adolf Hitler’s campaign to exterminate Jews.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip isn’t a war, it’s a genocide,” Lula told reporters on Sunday in Addis Ababa where he was attending an African Union summit.

“It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly prepared army and women and children,” he added.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history. Actually, it has happened: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

They were among the strongest comments yet on the conflict from Lula, a prominent voice for the global south whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20.

President Lula, who reiterated his call for a two-state solution to the conflict with Palestine “definitively recognised as a full and sovereign state”, criticised Western countries’ recent decisions to halt aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and vowed Brazil will increase its own contribution to the agency and urged other countries to do the same.

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2024

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